The Institute for the Development and Enrichment of Advanced Learners (IDEAL) at Texas Tech University held “Science: It’s a Girl Thing (SIGT)” summer camp on June 9-11, 2015, at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas. The goal of this residential summer camp is to introduce the underrepresented girl students into collegiate experience by providing strong role models in science.
Total numbers of 20 “Wannabe Girl Toxicologists” of 5-6th grade were participated for Toxicology section. As a SDE-GWIS associated Million Women Mentor, I served as an Instructor/mentor along with The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH) LE-SETAC (Llano Estacado Student chapter of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry) Outreach committee volunteers (my colleagues).
The 3-days summer camp consisted of an interactive introduction to Toxicology as a Science along with presentations and experiments on various toxicological hands-on training activities and games. I instructed lesson on Molecular Toxicology section (including hands-on experiment - Extraction of DNA from strawberry) and assisting with toxicity testing analysis (using Daphnia spp. and Hyallela spp. with pine sol and salt) with “Dose –Response Curve”.
The main focus of the summer camp was to introduce the different sections of Toxicology (such as analytical, environmental, marine and molecular toxicology along with activities for each section) and completed with toxicology jeopardy.
Needless to say, the girls were really awesome and enthusiastic. It was obvious that all these future “Scientists” need “Role models and Pinch of Motivation” to feel themselves that they are “not left behind” and, to affirm themselves that “Yes, Science It’s Girl Thing; We can do it”. It is not surprising to envision these girls will go a long way as they are moving in the right direction in chasing their dream.